Do you remember your first days learning to ride a bike? Were you nervous? Did that fear make you more focused? Was there someone holding on to your bike’s seat, guiding you and cheering you on?
When it comes to public speaking, do you find yourself nervous and maybe even fearful? Like that first experience on your bike, it can be a make a big difference to have someone hold on to that seat and help you learn.
1. Let Your Nerves Work for You
Nerves are not the enemy. Having much experience with public speaking I can tell you that I have never found a good speaker who was not nervous about their work. Notice that I wrote “a good speaker.” There are plenty of arrogant public speakers who are “never nervous” but they present without energy or enthusiasm.
What good are nerves for the public speaker? Your nerves keep your energy level high and your focus sharp. Speaking with high energy while focused on your presentation benefits your audience. They are getting a speaker who is truly present to the subject they are presenting instead of someone who is spewing out just another average speech. Before going onstage, accept your nerves as part of being human, take several slow deep breaths, smile big and step onto the stage with energy and enthusiasm.
2. Remember: Your Audience Wants You to Succeed.
In public speaking, your audience wants to you to be at your best. They do not want you to be boring as that means they will be bored. Your audience wants to see you having fun and being in touch with your subject. In the old days, people were told to imagine the audience in their underwear. That was just horrible advice. Your audience is on your side and you are in partnership with them. Remember, you are the expert and you are giving them a valuable presentation. They want to walk out of the event saying, “Great! I can really use what that speaker was talking about.”
3. Good Coaching and Training is Invaluable.
Coaching and training for public speaking are invaluable ways to get to the whoosh moments of public speaking. We who coach and train public speaking skills are always getting letters of thanks from our clients who successfully used simple techniques taught in public speaking workshops or private coaching. Seek out the experts who can take you to the next level. You will discover that it is an incredible experience to have a speaking coach who can point out areas where you need to improve and support you in your natural skills as a presenter.
Learn to focus your nervous energy to achieve excellence as a speaker.
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